A mixture of 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon dish soap can remove skunk odor from dogs. Pet owners should rub the mixture into the dog's fur and then rinse the dog thoroughly before following up with a pet shampoo. Owners should act quickly before the skunk odor sets in. Cleaning the dog outside prevents the skunk odor from spreading into the home.
Skunk odor is caused by a chemical calle thiol. Since thiol is an oily substance, it is impossible to remove with just soap and water. The faster the owner acts, the more thoroughly the skunk smell can be removed; it settles into the hair and becomes harder to remove with time. Commercial products are available to remove skunk spray from dogs, but the peroxide and baking soda solution was found to work the best when tested on the show MythBusters. The baking soda and peroxide help make the thiols water-soluble so they can be rinsed away.
Owners of dogs with long hair may find that trimming the hair helps eliminate residual odors. If smells transfer to clothing during the dog-cleaning process, adding 1/2 cup baking soda to the regular laundry load helps remove the stench.